Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador, three Latin American countries vital to addressing the migrant surge, have all blamed the Biden administration’s promise of better treatment and policies for the border crisis.
On the eve of Kamala Harris’ visit to Guatemala Monday, marking her first foreign trip as vice president, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei repeated his position during an interview that aired Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that the Biden administration’s more welcoming tone is responsible for attracting the historic migrant surge overwhelming resources and personnel at the U.S. southern border.
The Biden administration’s promise that it will “reunite” migrant families and children with their relatives in America are incentivizing his compatriots to emigrate, Giammattei told CBS News.
“The message [for migrants] changed [under Biden] too: ‘We’re going to reunite families, we’re going to reunite children,'” he added.
“The very next day [after the Biden administration’s welcoming message], the coyotes were here organizing groups of children to take them to the United States,” Giammattei, who has blamed President Joe Biden’s lenient border security policies for the surge in the past, declared.
VP Harris will travel to Central America on Monday to address immigration with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei. CBS News senior White House and political correspondent @edokeefe reports on the vice president’s first overseas trip since taking office. pic.twitter.com/Rnqn4H6RAC
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 6, 2021
The Guatemalan government did not respond to Breitbart News’ request for an unedited video or transcript of the CBS News interview. CBS News did not provide an unedited version of the interview or the full transcript of the exchange.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has also repeatedly indicated his American counterpart Joe Biden’s overwhelmingly more welcoming tone that began to develop during the U.S presidential campaign near the end of the Trump administration, when the migrant surge began, has “created expectations” among migrants from Mexico and Central America that crossing the border is almost guaranteed under the new American commander-in-chief.
Critics such as the Mexican government and Republicans believe Biden’s move to rescind the Trump-era border security policies and measures to enforce immigration laws in the interior of the country are at fault for the humanitarian crisis unfolding at the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. President denies the allegations, insisting the border is closed even as his administration continues to release illegals and asylum-seekers into American communities.
In May, the Washington Post reported:
Mexican officials, including Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, have been privately frustrated with Biden’s rapid-fire rollback of Trump policies, according to current and former U.S. and Mexican officials, because Mexico thought Biden’s moves incentivized migration in the short term while his proposed solutions consisted of long-term measures [such as addressing the root causes of migration and providing $4 billion in assistance over four years] that could take years to make a difference.
Central Americans from the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, the primary source of the surge, and migrants from outside the Americas, traveling from as far as Africa and Asia, have taken these policy changes, as well as the more lenient border security approach under Biden as a sign this president is inviting them to cross the border.
In an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson that aired in March, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele attributed the surge at the U.S.-Mexico border to three reasons:
- A lack of economic opportunities
- The absence of security in Latin America
- Incentives provided in the United States
He stressed that it is his country’s responsibility to provide better economic opportunities and security to prevent people from leaving. Bukele has previously said he favors commerce with the United States private sector over U.S. taxpayer-funded foreign aid that has failed to make any changes in the years the U.S. has been sending assistance to Central America.
The lack of economic opportunities is “bad for the United States because immigration will go up, and it’s bad for our country because [of] people leaving the country … so it’s bad for both of us,” he proclaimed.
Bukele emphasized that U.S. incentives for migrants are gutting El Salvador of people who could contribute to the economy in their home without leaving.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), citing overcrowded and sometimes unsanitary conditions at processing centers and detention facilities, is releasing the detainees to American communities without court dates, granting them the opportunity to reunite with their loved ones without any mechanism to ensure they will report to immigration authorities.
Apprehension of illegal migrants from places such as Africa, Asia, and other regions outside the Americas by Panamenian authorities suggest that details behind Biden’s tolerant border policies have reached places all over the world.
The New York Times reported in May that the U.S. is now releasing most of those migrants who are apprehended into the United States where they are reunited with loved one despite the Trump-era pandemic control protocols (Title 42) kept in place by the sitting president. Title 42 allows the government to remove any illegal immigrants amid the pandemic to stem the spread.
However, the Biden team is not applying Title-42 removal exemption to unaccompanied children, mainly from Central America, and vulnerable single adults persecuted for their sexual orientation, among other reasons.
Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, who U.S. prosecutors have accused of being involved in state-sponsored narco-trafficking activities along with his brother, has been silent about the border crisis, unlike other times.